Standard Article

Children and migration: disease and illness

Migration A–Z

C

  1. Elzbieta M. Gozdziak

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm115

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Gozdziak, E. M. 2013. Children and migration: disease and illness. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

Poverty, political turmoil, armed conflict, and human trafficking are but a few factors that lead to the significant migration of children. Researchers claim that the burden of ill health, infection, and emotional disturbance is much higher in child migrants than in other children (Hjern & Bouvier 2004). More than one-quarter of refugee children in the UK are believed to have significant psychological disturbances (Fazel & Stein 2003). Scandinavian studies of refugee children indicate that 40 to 50 percent of children in asylum-seeking families suffer from psychiatric and psychosomatic symptoms (Ekblad 1993; Almquist & Brandell 1997; Hjern et al. 1998). Almost all subjects (94%) among a group of internally displaced Bosnian children fulfilled the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Goldstein et al. 1997). Similar findings were reported about Sudanese refugee children in Uganda (Paardekooper et al. 1999). Rates of PTSD varying from 11.5 to 28 percent were found in refugee children from Tibet and Bosnia (Weine et al. 1995; Servan-Schreiber et al. 1998). Children who experienced war in Cambodia and former Yugoslavia reportedly had PTSD prevalence rates of 40 to 50 percent upon resettlement in the US (Weine et al. 1995; Servan-Schreiber et al. 1998; Papageorgiou et al. 2000).

Keywords:

  • poverty;
  • war;
  • disease;
  • human trafficking;
  • child labor;
  • demography and population studies;
  • immigration